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Gabriella McNicholas

Call: 2013

Overview

Gabriella specialises in commercial/chancery and general commercial litigation. Her practice includes contractual disputes across a very broad range of industries, civil fraud and asset tracing claims, shareholder and partnership disputes, breach of fiduciary duty claims and corporate and personal insolvency applications. Many of the cases in which Gabriella is instructed have an international element and she is experienced in dealing with jurisdictional challenges and conflicts of laws issues.

Gabriella is also experienced in obtaining and resisting applications for injunctive relief, including freezing orders and ancillary orders.

 

Thanks in part to her international background, covering Sweden, the US, Spain and the Netherlands, Gabriella has a creative spark which enables her to bring fresh ideas to difficult problems and she is frequently instructed to advise across the legal areas within her practice.

Gabriella is a strong and passionate advocate who appears regularly as sole Counsel in a variety of matters in the English Courts and in arbitrations. She is also frequently instructed as a junior to leading counsel, and she is experienced in acting as part of a larger counsel team in large scale commercial litigation, such as the US$2 billion claim brought by the Libyan Investment Authority (a sovereign wealth fund) against the French bank Société Générale to set aside several trades and derivative options, and its further £100 million claim against Credit Suisse and others.

Terms of Business 

The clerks are happy to discuss the basis on which Gabriella will act in any given matter. In the absence of express written agreement otherwise, the terms under which Gabriella accepts instructions are The Standard Contractual Terms for the Supply of Legal Services By Barristers to Authorised Persons 2020 (as updated from time to time) referred to in the BSB Handbook.

Education

Gabriella’s undergraduate degree in law included a fourth year abroad at Leiden University in the Netherlands, focused on European law as well as Private and Public International law.

She subsequently stayed on at Oxford for another year to complete the Bachelor of Civil Law (a masters level degree), taking papers in Conflict of Laws, Restitution of Unjust Enrichment, Advanced Property and Trusts and Medical Law and Ethics.

Publications

“Beyond wrongful trading – remaining risks and responsibilities” (2020) 6 JIBFL 359

“Insolvency remoteness – a holy grail or indirectly achievable?” (2019) 7 JIBFL 444

Contributor to the sections on money-laundering and whistle-blowers in MacDonald on the Law of Freedom of Information (3rd Ed)

Expertise

Overview

Gabriella is regularly instructed to advise, draft pleadings and appear both led and as sole counsel in relation to a variety of commercial matters, including:

  • Contractual claims, including contracts of guarantee, across a very wide range of industries
  • Urgent injunctive relief, including applications to obtain, continue, vary and discharge freezing injunctions
  • Jurisdictional challenges and conflicts of laws issues, as well as the full range of interim applications which substantial commercial disputes often involve
  • Enforcement and recognition of foreign judgements
  • Miss-selling claims against financial institutions, including in respect of interest rate swaps and mortgages.  

Notable Cases

  • Nimer v United Al Saqer Group & Others [2021] EWHC 50 (QB) –3-day jurisdictional dispute which centred on the nature and extent of the evidence required to demonstrate a serious risk of a denial of substantial justice, such that the natural forum is not the appropriate forum in which to try the claim (led by Andrew Ayres QC)
  • LIA v Credit Suisse & Others - £100 million claim including allegations of breach of fiduciary duty and undue influence (led by Roger Masefield QC and Andrew George QC)
  • VTB v Mazurov – litigation in the Isle of Man stemming from a £146 million world-wide freezing injunction, involving various associated applications including for disclosure, contempt of court and the appointment of a receiver
  • Jolison Limited v Ndiaye – successfully secured discharge of US$53 million world-wide Chabra injunction (led by Richard Morgan QC)
  • Blue Power Group & Others v ENI Norge AS & Others – claim for breach of exclusivity, confidentiality and best endeavours provisions related to compressed natural gas technologies (led by Andrew Twigger QC)
  • WMR Library Limited & Anor v World Media Rights Limitedcontractual dispute arising out of the corporate reorganisation of a TV production business
  • Punjab National Bank (International) v Boris Shipping Ltd & Others - £20 million claim under contracts for guarantee; application relating to service under Hague Convention ([2019] EWHC 1280 (QB)) and successful application for summary judgment  
  • Vaimo v B&W Group Ltd  - contractual claim against audio equipment manufacturer Bowers & Wilkins for services relating to the design and production of an e-commerce website
  • LIA v SocGen & Others –US$2 billion claim to set aside several trades and derivative options and including claims of breach of fiduciary duty and illegality (top 20 case of 2017 by The Lawyer, led by Roger Masefield QC, Craig Orr QC and Andrew George QC)) 
  • Vaimo v Carraig Donn – contractual claim against the Irish lifestyle retailer for services to create an e-commerce platform

Overview

Gabriella is experienced in advising on and appearing in a wide range of company and shareholder matters, including corporate governance disputes, unfair prejudice petitions and other shareholder disputes, claims of breach of duty against directors and director disqualification proceedings.

She also has experience in advising on claims arising out of joint ventures and partnership disputes (the majority of which settle on confidential terms), including breach of duty claims, issues regarding beneficial ownership and division of profits, disclosure, dissolution and associated relief, such as freezing injunctions to avoid dissipation of partnership assets. 

Notable Cases

Some recent examples include:

  • Wells v Hornshaw – unfair prejudice petition (led by Thomas Grant QC); Gabriella appeared unled in the 3-day successful application to obtain summary judgment on the issue of quasi-partnership and other allegations
  • Boca Limited v Volaw Trustee Limited & Anor (CHP 18/0065) long-running partnership dispute in the Isle of Man, which culminated in a week-long High Court trial before Deemster Rosen QC in November 2019, in which allegations of fraud were successfully defended and a mandatory injunction secured to compel compliance with a partnership deed
  • Pejcinovic v Locker – unfair prejudice petition including allegations of breaches of shareholders’ agreement, exclusion from management and unlawful dilution of shareholding
  • Campbell v Campbell [2017] EWHC 2747 (Ch) (led by John Machell QC) –  freezing injunction to avoid dissipation of partnership assets

Overview

Gabriella is instructed to advise in respect of a great variety of insolvency related matters and she appears regularly in the High Court in both corporate insolvency and bankruptcy proceedings. Examples include:

  • Advising on and appearing in contested winding-up and bankruptcy petitions, and applications for injunctions to restrain the presentation of a winding up petition
  • Advising insolvency practitioners in respect of misfeasance, wrongful trading and preference claims against directors and others
  • Advising on and appearing in applications for and against validation orders under s 127 of the Insolvency Act 1986
  • Applications under s 236 of the Insolvency Act 1986 (inquiry into company's dealings)
  • Advising on and appearing in applications to lift the statutory moratorium upon administration under para 43(6)(b) of Schedule B1 to the Insolvency Act 1986
  • Advising on and appearing in applications both challenging and supporting the appointment, conduct, remuneration and removal of insolvency practitioners. 

Notable Cases

Examples include:

  • Hunt v Down [2020] 4 WLUK 474 – application under the block transfer regime, which raised issues of standing and the extent to which the cooperation of the outgoing officeholder is required
  • Portland Stone Firms Limited & Ors v Barclays Bank Plc, KPMG LLP & Ors [2018] EWHC 2341 (QB) – £20 million claim for unlawful means conspiracy, of which Gabriella was instructed to assist on the allegations that Administrators wrongfully pursued a fire sale and failed to genuinely consider rescuing the company as a going concern
  • Re TRIAP Limited – claim pursuant to s 127 arising out of the winding up of a company providing insolvency and restructuring services  
  • LF2 Ltd v Supperstone – application by a creditor under paragraph 74 of Schedule B1 to challenge the refusal of administrators to consider an offer to purchase a chose in action 
  • David Rocker v Full Circle Asset Management Limited – successful application before Birss J to lift the statutory moratorium and allow Part 7 proceedings to continue, and successful application before Rose J to oppose the appointment of administrators chosen by the directors and to appoint the office-holders preferred by the majority creditor. 

Overview

Gabriella has been instructed in a number of claims which involve allegations of civil or commercial fraud. The most notable is the Libyan Investment's Authority's claim against Société Générale, to which reference is made above. This long-running litigation, which settled on the eve of a three-month trial, included allegations of bribery, claims in knowing receipt and damages for fraud.

Gabriella is regularly instructed to advise on claims involving allegations of fraudulent misrepresentation, dishonest assistance, unlawful means conspiracy and claims pursuant to the Insolvency Act 1986, including wrongful and fraudulent trading and claims under section 423 (transactions defrauding creditors).

Notable Cases

  • Nimer v UAS Group & Others - £24 million unlawful means conspiracy claim against the owners of one of the largest conglomerates in the UAE
  • LIA v Credit Suisse & Others - £100 million claim including allegations of knowing receipt and dishonest assistance  
  • McLeod and DP Limited v Donald and MacNiven - £10 million claim for fraudulent misrepresentation relating to a novel ballistic technology for application in the oil and gas industry 
  • Jolison Limited v Ndiaye – claim alleging that a declaration of trust in respect of a multi-million pound London property was a sham or a transaction to defraud creditors
  • LIA v SocGen & Others – US$2 billion claim alleging that various trades and derivative options were procured by a fraudulent and corrupt scheme

Memberships

  • Chancery Bar Association
  • COMBAR
  • Young Fraud Lawyers Association

Qualifications

  • BCL (Oxon)
  • BA (Jurisprudence) Magdalen College, Oxford: First Class
  • BPTC, City University

Languages

  • Swedish (native)
  • Spanish (intermediate)

Awards

  • Denning Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn
  • Hardwicke Entrance Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn
  • Demyship and Scholar, Magdalen College, Oxford
  • Cum Laude, Department of Moot Court and Advocacy at Leiden University

 clerks@maitlandchambers.com                                                                  

  +44 (0)20 7406 1200

Gabriella McNicholas

Call: 2013

gmcnicholas@maitlandchambers.com

Overview

Gabriella specialises in commercial/chancery and general commercial litigation. Her practice includes contractual disputes across a very broad range of industries, civil fraud and asset tracing claims, shareholder and partnership disputes, breach of fiduciary duty claims and corporate and personal insolvency applications. Many of the cases in which Gabriella is instructed have an international element and she is experienced in dealing with jurisdictional challenges and conflicts of laws issues.

Gabriella is also experienced in obtaining and resisting applications for injunctive relief, including freezing orders and ancillary orders.

Thanks in part to her international background, covering Sweden, the US, Spain and the Netherlands, Gabriella has a creative spark which enables her to bring fresh ideas to difficult problems and she is frequently instructed to advise across the legal areas within her practice.

Gabriella is a strong and passionate advocate who appears regularly as sole Counsel in a variety of matters in the English Courts and in arbitrations. She is also frequently instructed as a junior to leading counsel, and she is experienced in acting as part of a larger counsel team in large scale commercial litigation, such as the US$2 billion claim brought by the Libyan Investment Authority (a sovereign wealth fund) against the French bank Société Générale to set aside several trades and derivative options, and its further £100 million claim against Credit Suisse and others.

Terms of Business 

The clerks are happy to discuss the basis on which Gabriella will act in any given matter. In the absence of express written agreement otherwise, the terms under which Gabriella accepts instructions are The Standard Contractual Terms for the Supply of Legal Services By Barristers to Authorised Persons 2020 (as updated from time to time) referred to in the BSB Handbook.

Education

Gabriella’s undergraduate degree in law included a fourth year abroad at Leiden University in the Netherlands, focused on European law as well as Private and Public International law.

She subsequently stayed on at Oxford for another year to complete the Bachelor of Civil Law (a masters level degree), taking papers in Conflict of Laws, Restitution of Unjust Enrichment, Advanced Property and Trusts and Medical Law and Ethics.

Publications

“Beyond wrongful trading – remaining risks and responsibilities” (2020) 6 JIBFL 359

“Insolvency remoteness – a holy grail or indirectly achievable?” (2019) 7 JIBFL 444

Contributor to the sections on money-laundering and whistle-blowers in MacDonald on the Law of Freedom of Information (3rd Ed)

Memberships

  • Chancery Bar Association
  • COMBAR
  • Young Fraud Lawyers Association

Qualifications

  • BCL (Oxon)
  • BA (Jurisprudence) Magdalen College, Oxford: First Class
  • BPTC, City University

Languages

  • Swedish (native)
  • Spanish (intermediate)

Awards

  • Denning Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn
  • Hardwicke Entrance Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn
  • Demyship and Scholar, Magdalen College, Oxford
  • Cum Laude, Department of Moot Court and Advocacy at Leiden University

Commercial Disputes

Gabriella is regularly instructed to advise, draft pleadings and appear both led and as sole counsel in relation to a variety of commercial matters, including:

  • Contractual claims, including contracts of guarantee, across a very wide range of industries
  • Urgent injunctive relief, including applications to obtain, continue, vary and discharge freezing injunctions
  • Jurisdictional challenges and conflicts of laws issues, as well as the full range of interim applications which substantial commercial disputes often involve
  • Enforcement and recognition of foreign judgements
  • Miss-selling claims against financial institutions, including in respect of interest rate swaps and mortgages.  
  • Nimer v United Al Saqer Group & Others [2021] EWHC 50 (QB) –3-day jurisdictional dispute which centred on the nature and extent of the evidence required to demonstrate a serious risk of a denial of substantial justice, such that the natural forum is not the appropriate forum in which to try the claim (led by Andrew Ayres QC)
  • LIA v Credit Suisse & Others - £100 million claim including allegations of breach of fiduciary duty and undue influence (led by Roger Masefield QC and Andrew George QC)
  • VTB v Mazurov – litigation in the Isle of Man stemming from a £146 million world-wide freezing injunction, involving various associated applications including for disclosure, contempt of court and the appointment of a receiver
  • Jolison Limited v Ndiaye – successfully secured discharge of US$53 million world-wide Chabra injunction (led by Richard Morgan QC)
  • Blue Power Group & Others v ENI Norge AS & Others – claim for breach of exclusivity, confidentiality and best endeavours provisions related to compressed natural gas technologies (led by Andrew Twigger QC)
  • WMR Library Limited & Anor v World Media Rights Limitedcontractual dispute arising out of the corporate reorganisation of a TV production business
  • Punjab National Bank (International) v Boris Shipping Ltd & Others - £20 million claim under contracts for guarantee; application relating to service under Hague Convention ([2019] EWHC 1280 (QB)) and successful application for summary judgment  
  • Vaimo v B&W Group Ltd  - contractual claim against audio equipment manufacturer Bowers & Wilkins for services relating to the design and production of an e-commerce website
  • LIA v SocGen & Others –US$2 billion claim to set aside several trades and derivative options and including claims of breach of fiduciary duty and illegality (top 20 case of 2017 by The Lawyer, led by Roger Masefield QC, Craig Orr QC and Andrew George QC)) 
  • Vaimo v Carraig Donn – contractual claim against the Irish lifestyle retailer for services to create an e-commerce platform

Company, Partnerships & LLPs

Gabriella is experienced in advising on and appearing in a wide range of company and shareholder matters, including corporate governance disputes, unfair prejudice petitions and other shareholder disputes, claims of breach of duty against directors and director disqualification proceedings.

She also has experience in advising on claims arising out of joint ventures and partnership disputes (the majority of which settle on confidential terms), including breach of duty claims, issues regarding beneficial ownership and division of profits, disclosure, dissolution and associated relief, such as freezing injunctions to avoid dissipation of partnership assets. 

Some recent examples include:

  • Wells v Hornshaw – unfair prejudice petition (led by Thomas Grant QC); Gabriella appeared unled in the 3-day successful application to obtain summary judgment on the issue of quasi-partnership and other allegations
  • Boca Limited v Volaw Trustee Limited & Anor (CHP 18/0065) long-running partnership dispute in the Isle of Man, which culminated in a week-long High Court trial before Deemster Rosen QC in November 2019, in which allegations of fraud were successfully defended and a mandatory injunction secured to compel compliance with a partnership deed
  • Pejcinovic v Locker – unfair prejudice petition including allegations of breaches of shareholders’ agreement, exclusion from management and unlawful dilution of shareholding
  • Campbell v Campbell [2017] EWHC 2747 (Ch) (led by John Machell QC) –  freezing injunction to avoid dissipation of partnership assets

Insolvency & Restructuring

Gabriella is instructed to advise in respect of a great variety of insolvency related matters and she appears regularly in the High Court in both corporate insolvency and bankruptcy proceedings. Examples include:

  • Advising on and appearing in contested winding-up and bankruptcy petitions, and applications for injunctions to restrain the presentation of a winding up petition
  • Advising insolvency practitioners in respect of misfeasance, wrongful trading and preference claims against directors and others
  • Advising on and appearing in applications for and against validation orders under s 127 of the Insolvency Act 1986
  • Applications under s 236 of the Insolvency Act 1986 (inquiry into company's dealings)
  • Advising on and appearing in applications to lift the statutory moratorium upon administration under para 43(6)(b) of Schedule B1 to the Insolvency Act 1986
  • Advising on and appearing in applications both challenging and supporting the appointment, conduct, remuneration and removal of insolvency practitioners. 

Examples include:

  • Hunt v Down [2020] 4 WLUK 474 – application under the block transfer regime, which raised issues of standing and the extent to which the cooperation of the outgoing officeholder is required
  • Portland Stone Firms Limited & Ors v Barclays Bank Plc, KPMG LLP & Ors [2018] EWHC 2341 (QB) – £20 million claim for unlawful means conspiracy, of which Gabriella was instructed to assist on the allegations that Administrators wrongfully pursued a fire sale and failed to genuinely consider rescuing the company as a going concern
  • Re TRIAP Limited – claim pursuant to s 127 arising out of the winding up of a company providing insolvency and restructuring services  
  • LF2 Ltd v Supperstone – application by a creditor under paragraph 74 of Schedule B1 to challenge the refusal of administrators to consider an offer to purchase a chose in action 
  • David Rocker v Full Circle Asset Management Limited – successful application before Birss J to lift the statutory moratorium and allow Part 7 proceedings to continue, and successful application before Rose J to oppose the appointment of administrators chosen by the directors and to appoint the office-holders preferred by the majority creditor. 

Civil Fraud & Asset Recovery

Gabriella has been instructed in a number of claims which involve allegations of civil or commercial fraud. The most notable is the Libyan Investment's Authority's claim against Société Générale, to which reference is made above. This long-running litigation, which settled on the eve of a three-month trial, included allegations of bribery, claims in knowing receipt and damages for fraud.

Gabriella is regularly instructed to advise on claims involving allegations of fraudulent misrepresentation, dishonest assistance, unlawful means conspiracy and claims pursuant to the Insolvency Act 1986, including wrongful and fraudulent trading and claims under section 423 (transactions defrauding creditors).

  • Nimer v UAS Group & Others - £24 million unlawful means conspiracy claim against the owners of one of the largest conglomerates in the UAE
  • LIA v Credit Suisse & Others - £100 million claim including allegations of knowing receipt and dishonest assistance  
  • McLeod and DP Limited v Donald and MacNiven - £10 million claim for fraudulent misrepresentation relating to a novel ballistic technology for application in the oil and gas industry 
  • Jolison Limited v Ndiaye – claim alleging that a declaration of trust in respect of a multi-million pound London property was a sham or a transaction to defraud creditors
  • LIA v SocGen & Others – US$2 billion claim alleging that various trades and derivative options were procured by a fraudulent and corrupt scheme